Whitewater Canoeing on the Mulberry River

Contributed by Joy Cressler

The Mulberry River is a National Wild and Scenic River that flows through the heart of the Ozark National Forest and is known for excellent whitewater rafting, canoeing, and kayaking. The rapids and beautiful Ozark Mountain scenery bring visitors back year after year.

Canoeing the Mulberry River

The river flows for about 62 miles, though the section that is most frequently paddled is a superb 45.2 mile whitewater roller coaster. From its beginnings deep in the Ozarks to its confluence with the Arkansas River, the Mulberry plummets over ledges, jets through willow thickets, and spins around sharp turns.

In drier times, it’s a good place to swim, wade, skip rocks, and fish. The Mulberry is an excellent choice when angling for smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass and sunfish.

Visitors to the Mulberry can expect prime Ozark Mountain scenery of narrow canyons, tree-lined bluffs, and dense woods. A good assortment of wildlife is found in the immediate area, including one of the state’s largest concentrations of black bears.

The stream itself is clear and cool. In 1985, the General Assembly declared the Mulberry to be “a scenic river of the State of Arkansas” and in 1992 it was named a National Wild and Scenic River.

For those wishing to try the rapids, Turner Bend outfitters supply canoe and kayak rentals. You may also view a map of the river or check out more area waterways.

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